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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old October 18th, 2004, 11:56 AM   #16
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Hm.. I didn't even notice the purple fringing, but now that you mention it, yes, you are right.

But I as an XL1 (without the "s") owner was somehow impressed that there was no vertical smear at all from any of the light sources. With my cam I always have to make sure to keep the lights out of frame not to get those ugly highlighted vertical lines on the footage.
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Old October 18th, 2004, 12:46 PM   #17
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no image

When I download the footage and try and play it, I just get a black screen with audio which sounds like it's from a movie. I hear some low music soundtrack with a voice with a German accent saying "Hello" in english interspersed throughout... Now that's what I call real low light footage :)
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Old October 19th, 2004, 06:14 PM   #18
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Ghost Shadows

I was rather impressed by the low light video. I especially liked how the "ghost" cast a shadow on the door.

I was just wondering if anyone knew how the xl2 did outdoors at night. I am thinking of doing a documentary out of doors and there would be some astronomy shooting involved. I just want to know if this camera can do the job before I pay the price.
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Old October 19th, 2004, 11:34 PM   #19
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Lars, the camera looks extremely good outdoors at night from what I saw. Do a search for Johnnie's PAL footage. Don't know if it's still around but it was shot at night and the noise was nearly non-existent, which was a big reason why I opted for this camera myself (NTSC version).

You might want to elaborate on your astronomy use though, what and how exactly are you planing to shoot?

BTW if you do not care for 30fps or 24fps progressive scan, maybe your best bet would be the Sony PD170.
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Old October 20th, 2004, 08:39 AM   #20
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Thank you for the information. I plan on taking some shots of Venus and the Moon. I think the moon should be just fine but getting Venus might be a little tricky and that is why I asked the question. The shots will be out in the country so there should not be too much ambient lighting.
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Old October 20th, 2004, 09:25 AM   #21
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Well Lars if you plan to shoot other things than the sky, and can at least bring one light to use as a key or even a kicker, it would look much better, regardless of the camera you'll be using, but I think the XL2 is up to the task. I hate to use the gain up function myself, but it seems to work rather well on the XL2, with minimal noise increase.

Of course no camera will do miracles for you if you shoot in a no light situation. Try to shoot when the sky is clear and the moon is full to get the best natural fill light possible.
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Old October 25th, 2004, 04:05 AM   #22
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XL2 low light footage

Hi all, in the middle of filming a childrens dance show so I've got some nice low light/highcontrast footage if any one wants to see some, any ideas on were I can post/upload it too???

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Old October 25th, 2004, 11:05 AM   #23
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i don't wanna speak for chris, but he has offered hosting here in the past. pls get in touch with chris hurd.
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Old November 8th, 2004, 10:39 PM   #24
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Low light experiments

I've been working as Technical Director and Associate Producer on an indie horror film that's being made in Wellington, NZ. One of the things we are up to is filming in very low level illumination. I've been experimenting with see what I can get away with.

You can see my tests at: http://www.livejournal.com/community...film/2878.html

I think a little more light is needed so that I can close the iris down and get a little more dof, but am not disappointed with what I was able to get.

I only used the manual mode with the stills I've posted.
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Old November 9th, 2004, 12:05 AM   #25
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I don't know what your personal preferences are or what type of film you are making. But to me that level of noise is completely unnacceptable. I never turn my gain up beyond +3 and I avoid that too. This camera is great but the noise at +12 is just too much.

Other than for event video like a wedding reception where the hall is dark I would not use +12. It is acceptable for a wedding video but not for something more professional. Unless you are trying to convey a specific look.
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Old November 9th, 2004, 12:23 AM   #26
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I quite agree with you that the noise is too much. This is all part of the testing to see what we can get away with. I keep coming away with the feeling that it is far better to have too much light than not enough.
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Old November 10th, 2004, 06:29 PM   #27
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Chris, I would personally stick with -3dB or 0dB and then just use lighting to light up your scene a little.

Even though its a horror film and you want that creepy dark look, don't feel you can't use powerful lighting and have to shoot in the dark with dim or low watt lighting.

Hard lighting with barn doors and flags can achieve a great "dark" look, as can lighting from softboxes. Kinos are really great too. If you're on a budget, try using hardware store fluorescent lights.
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Old November 10th, 2004, 08:27 PM   #28
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My biggest challenge is that there are *a lot* of night time scenes which are planned for being shot at night and on a lonely stretch of road with no power points.

I've arranged to try out using Coleman gas lanterns (rated at around 250 watts each) as fill and key lighting and careful placement of some superbright LED's as kickers. The gas lanterns may work - and then they may not, but we wont know till night after tomorrow.

I also am thinking that for scenes where we don't need to see any source of light (torch or headlamp) that we can try working with day for night and grade it in post.

That's what the screen test is for - sorting out the problems before we do the principal photography in another month.

Thanks for your suggestions!
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Old November 10th, 2004, 10:27 PM   #29
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Color Finesse for Adobe After Effects will convert daylight footage to look like night. But from my experience even when converting footage it looks much more realistic when there are highlights on subjects created from some lights. You more or less get flat or even lighting when using the sun.

Your other option is to use headlamps from cars, maybe with some diffusion... you can also get additional 12volt bulbs for some lights like the Lowell Omni light.

I guess in the end it all depends what you need to light.

Good luck with your project though, it sounds interesting.
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Old November 11th, 2004, 12:37 AM   #30
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You might want to check out a book entitled "Lighting for Digital Video and Television" by John Jackman (I think I got that right).

He talks a lot about lighting the exact types of scenes you are referring to.

Best,

Matt
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